Title: Silver Spoon Vol. 11
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Slice of Life
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
The Tale of Winter continues in Volume 11 of Silver Spoon. The biggest story point in this volume is the fact that all of the first-year students need to either graduate to the upperclassman dorm or find a boarding house/place to stay off-campus for the remainder of their tenure there. This is to make adequate space for the new first-years that will be joining the school soon. Hachiken ends up calling his parents to talk about it after coming to a decision. Hachiken has found out what he wants to do with his life; however, he doesn’t have a solid plan to execute just yet.
Meanwhile, the rest of the volume is spent building up and heavily teasing the relationship between Mikage and Hachiken. It kicks off with Valentine’s Day chocolates and continues on through Mikage using her family to find a place for Hachiken to live in for the remainder of his school tenure. In between, the two of them slowly start to realize that their time together isn’t always a coincidence; however, Mikage is still rather oblivious to everything. This is also accentuated by the fact that everyone calls her out on it multiple times throughout the volume!
The end of the volume comes on a rather hilarious note and even though it is written as humor, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s actually a cliffhanger in disguise. I won’t spoil it but it does involve Hachiken, his new boarding house, and Ookawa who, by the way, was given some time to shine here even though it was in the form of a running gag.
Once again, it feels like another story arc has come to a conclusion. Now we begin a new arc with volume 12 with everyone starting their second year at EZO AG all while living independently on their own. It feels like a new beginning for the series al while remaining familiar. While some of the cast members have left us by way of graduation, it also opens up the doors for new cast members to come into light. I look forward to how the story proceeds from here on out!
The obvious big focus here has been the relationship between Mikage and Hachiken. Once again, it’s extremely frustrating to watch. Even the characters in the manga are wondering how these two are not together yet. I know some people are oblivious to love but this is taking things to a whole new level. At some point, someone is going to have to throw the two of them into a closet, lock the door, and scream out the obvious and tell them they’ll only be allowed to come out once they make it official. Sadly, with the way these characters are progressing, it might actually take something like that to get these two to get together. Still, despite eleven volumes of teasing, it’s actually cute watching these two interact with each other!
Ookawa did get some time to shine here even though it was just the usual running joke of him not being able to find a job. It was pretty hilarious when he refused to accept his diploma because it would mean him becoming completely and totally unemployed. I believe the reason for focusing on this aspect of Ookawa ties into what Hachiken has planned. As they said in the volume during a scene with the guidance counselor, it’s all about what you till and if you can’t till anything, then sow the seeds for something else. I think Arakawa-san was speaking right to the reader about future story points. Some of them here were pretty obvious, some not so much but I think this volume is setting up everything we’re going to see in the conclusion of this series and Ookawa was a pretty big, obvious clue to all of that.
This was a great volume of Silver Spoon. It seems that Hachiken finally has a direction he wants to go in despite the fact that he doesn’t have a path to that destination. Given the fact that he has a two-year time frame to work with, I’m sure there will be a few story arcs where he ends up figuring it out. With this, it seems like we have an idea of what the ending of this series is going to be like. I made a bold prediction before that things are going to go south for MIkage. I made the prediction that her grades are not going to improve enough to get to do what she wants and that the thing that will bring Mikage and Hachiken together is for Hachiken to be the one who catches her when she falls.
I also predicted that Hachiken would be the one to start his own business and have Mikage work for him. Lo’ and behold, Hachiken’s idea is to actually start his own business so forgive me if I pat myself on the back for nailing that prediction! The fact that Mikage’s grades have improved but are still below what she needs to get a recommendation is probably the false-positive that will serve as the catalyst for her fall. My original prediction was that she gets into college but the Ban’ei Racing business goes belly up, leaving her future in shambles. By then, Hachiken should have figured out what he wants to do for a business and boom.. there’s your finale!
I’ve been right so far so let’s see how this pans out! Still feels like all of this is going to be a slow burn, though, and with a two-year time frame in front of us, we’ve got plenty of Silver Spoon left to sort this all out!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press